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Lime-Away damaged stainless steel sink

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I saw online that you clean the kitchen sink with lime-a-way & they say leave it for a few minutes. I leave it for 15 min. Now my sink changed to a little bit clean silver & black line. What do I do or use to change back my silver color?

Trisha Dao
House Cleaning - Anaheim,Ca
June 13, 2022

thumbsdown I did the same thing. I've scrubbed with comet and it looks terrible. I hope you get an answer and I'll be able to see it. It's a bummer because I just got a new faucet.
Good luck!

Wandie Rees
- Shawnee, KS
June 29, 2022

A. I have the same problem and have tried lots of things over past month with no joy however last night I used lemon juice directly onto the stains and used my dishmatic sponge with dish soap to scrub and the stains are very noticeably getting lighter also filled sink with hot water and lemon juice and left over night then repeated the lemon juice and dish soap scrubbing this morning stains are gone from base of sink and much less noticeable around sides

Karen Aitken
- London
July 1, 2022

July 23, 2022

Q. @Sammi Wiebe I'm using the turtle rubbing compound like you did. I rubbed it on, so how long do you leave it on? Because you didn't say. Can you let me know?

Cheryl walton
- Nebraska

A. Hi Cheryl. Sammi's posting was from 6 years ago so we may not be able to make contact, let alone expect an answer. But rubbing compound is an abrasive; although it's good to let it dry on, once it's dry it's not doing anything but waiting for you to rub it off -- it's in that rubbing off that the abrasive is functioning. So whether you leave it 15 minutes or 2 hours or overnight will probably make no difference.

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Closely related historical Q&A's, oldest first:


Q. I used Lime-Away on the "crust" around my sink faucets, and got some on my stainless steel sink. Now the stainless steel has turned black, and stainless steel cleaner does nothing for the problem. Is there a product that will restore my new sink?

Tim H [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
homeowner - Fort Scott, Kansas


A. Try to clean it with a cleanser like Bon-Ami [affil. link to info/product on Amazon].

Simon D [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Roseville, Minnesota


A. Lime Away is very hard on stainless steel. I think they have a warning on the bottle about this.

You can get rid of the lime stains with a citric cleaner safely, but once you have the black surface from the LimeAway it is very hard to fix. Best solution most people find with safe materials is to refinish the steel with ScotchBrite (TM) or similar non-iron containing abrasive. It will be some work. You can use an electrical polisher, of course. This all depends on whether your sink surface is capable of doing the mechanical process.

lee kremer
lee kremer sig
Lee Kremer
Stellar Solutions, Inc.
supporting advertiser
McHenry, Illinois

stellar solutions banner


A. Use car polish (not wax), a good amount of clean cotton rags, effort and a lot of patience. It will shine again.

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico


Q. I have a question regarding stainless steel sinks. I have a new Elkay sink that was installed in my home during a recent remodel. Shortly after we finished construction, I noticed some deep scratches in the finish. I was told to use water proof metal sandpaper w/ a cleaner/polish as an agent to remove the scratches. In the process, I actually created some hazy areas in the sink and I am unable to recapture the original finish. Is there anyway to refinish or buff out this hazing and the scratches?

Dan E [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
homeowner - San Mateo, California


Q. I used Lime Away to clean a hot glue gun (long long story) & when I was done I rinsed out the sponge, put it in the stainless steel sink and forgot about it till about 18 hours later when I hear my mom scream. Where the sponge was laying is discolored; apparently I didn't rinse it out well enough. I didn't know it would hurt the sink so didn't rinse it out that much. A little of the discoloration is dull medium-gray but most of it is only slightly dull gray.

I read the responses to the first/starting question and was wondering if anyone knew what brand of car polish (if it matters) should be used.

Katie S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Lutz, Florida


A. I don't think the brand will matter nearly as much as that you want polish (abrasives, cutting action), not wax.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


Q. I used Don Aslett's shower and stuff for my stainless steel sinks. It contains phosphorus and acid as far as I remember. Forgot the stuff on the sinks and let it dry. Now my sinks are discolored. One worse than the other. I used fine 0000 steel wool [affil. link to info/product at Rockler] and Barkeepers Friend [affil. link to info/product on Amazon], which made it better. I can still see some black streaks. Is there anything I can use. I know that it is in the metal. Am I causing more problems using abrasives?

Joan S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
housewife/ cleaner - St Martinville, Louisiana

Bronze Wool

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A. Don't use steel wool on stainless steel, Joan! I know it is hard to believe, but even the tiniest traces of plain steel will cause stainless to rust; stainless steel items receive a special chemical treatment called "passivation" before leaving the factory to dissolve any traces of plain steel left on them from contact with steel tooling during their manufacture.

If those green scotch brite look like they scratch the stainless and you don't want to use them, please try bronze wool .
rather than steel wool. Good luck.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


Q. Hi,

Stainless Steel Black / Gray discoloration stains from Drano/ lemon juice/ hot water/ clogged drain cleaning process. We had a recent clogged drain in our kitchen sink. Like everyone, proceeded with several home remedies like hot water and lemon juice, Drano MAX, baking soda etc.

As the drain was clogged, it started fuming. Put a towel on it and called the plumber. 2 hours later, the drain was unclogged and the sink clear.

But now the sides of the sink (above water level) are badly discolored. I have tried Barkeepers friend, Vinegar etc to little and no effect. Cameo [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] seems to have limited success in making the stains a bit lighter.

Any suggestions? I read stuff about using Car polish. Will that help in this case?

Thanks so much

Bobby R [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
Consumer - Aurora, Illinois

sidebar 2007

Q. Does anyone know if you can use lime away on granite - calcium buildup from hard water? I have very hard water - there is a calcium buildup around the bottom of my faucet on the
granite. Does anyone know if I can use lime away on granite. Does anyone know what I can use to remove this crusty build up? Thanks!

Donna C [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
consumer - Florham Park, New Jersey

June, 2007

A. I wouldn't try it if it were my granite counters, Donna! Not unless the supplier said it was okay. The color patterns in granite are from varying chemical compositions in the rock, and pending assurance from the manufacturer, I'd be concerned that some areas might have enough calcium and other light metals to be soluble in a calcium dissolver.

Letter 6901 includes an inquiry from a homeowner who now has a haze on her granite after using Lime-Away.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


Q. Adding a stainless steel coat to kitchen sink ? There was a chemical reaction in my kitchen sink which caused the stainless steel lining to be damaged. It appears the chemicals ate right through the top lining. Now the sink looks dull.

Derek Smith
contracting - Bergenfield, New Jersey


A. Cameo [affil. link to info/product on Amazon]brand aluminum and stainless steel cleaner and lots of elbow grease almost made the discoloration marks disappear that were left behind from the Lime A-way.

Micca Wootten
- Blue Hill, Maine


Q. Stainless Sink Bleach damage. I had some cleaner that leaked onto my stainless steel countertop. It's now all blotchy and cloudy. Is there any way to repair the damage? Will it wear away?

Cindy Strickler
consumer - Aldergrove, BC, Canada

January 12, 2008

Q. I put limescale remover into my stainless steel sink and now the sink has become discoloured. Is there anything l can do to restore the sink? Thanks so much.

Ciara Conneely
hobbyist - London, UK

February 13, 2008

A. Hi all, leaving chemical cleaners, which contain chlorine such as bleach and CLR, in the sink or counter for prolonged period will 'stain' Stainless steel.

Scratch-B-Gone will remove this easily and effectively.

Thanks and good cleaning.

Barry Feinman
Barry Feinman
supporting advertiser
Carlsbad, California

April 9, 2008

Q. I have used bleach on a stainless steel splash back which has scratched it how do I remove it please?

Mandy Palin
stainless steel splash backs - Crewe, UK

July 25, 2008

Q. My 5-year old building has lousy drains - the bathroom sink & tub need constant snaking, but the super always has something else to do.

So I recently tried a "clog blaster" that contains sodium hypochlorite and sodium hydroxide. It cleared the drain, but turned the metal drain ring gray and black. Is there any way to restore the metal shine? Would chrome polish work? (The sink is porcelain-covered cast iron and is OK).

Any suggestion are most welcome.

Karen Pesavento
consumer - New York, New York

July 30, 2008

Q. I have a stainless steel spoon that was used at work for eating yogurt. It has turned black. What causes this and is there any way to get the original color to return.

Toni Ryan
user - St. John's NL Canada

August 6, 2008

A. There is a product which will clean the sinks with less effort than most. It worked great for me. Look up cleanroot on the web.

Michael Butler
- Nashville Tennessee

October 9, 2008

Q. Well, I went and did it. I put lime away in my toilet. Then the phone rang and a minor emergency came up and yes... I left it in my toilet. Now I have big black etched marks which I have worked on to try and get rid of. Is there hope?

Sharon Lee
house wife - Northeast, New York

Never Dull Polish

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October 20, 2008

A. Wow! Here is a SOLUTION and it is FAST! I put Lime-Away in my sink and came back after working all day and my stomach felt sick! Brand new house,granite counter and stainless undermount sink! Well thank goodness my husband has something to fix everything so here you all and anyone new can do!

USE THIS PRODUCT.......from select hardware stores...."Nevr-Dull [affil. link to info/product on Amazon]" Magic Wadding Polish(small dark blue tin container, label white letters). It is a cotton that you tear off a small piece that has the polish on it. Go in the direction of the grain! Very important! Be sure the sink is dry. Rub very lightly and let the product do the work or it won't work! You will honestly see the black/gray drab area go away. Rinse with warm soapy water and dry the sink. My husband fixed this in about 15 minutes...I can't believe it and now I wish I would have taken a before and after to prove it. I hope this helps all who read! This was a miracle for me....

D. Allen
- Albany, Wisconsin

February 4, 2009

A. I have been cleaning homes professionally for over 6 years now, and 10 years prior to that was supervisor for Retirement home. I have used Limeaway to clean stainless steel sinks of a variety of ages and craftsmanship. I have never had this occur. What I wonder is, are the folks having trouble leaving it on the surface for any length of time? When I used Limeaway on anything, I apply it and promptly rinse it off. The only surface I have damaged happened to be a marble countertop, I assumed to be granite. It was easily repaired by sanding and buffing. Now I ask what countertops are made of. But one thing to remember about any cleaning product if you have not used it on a surface before, always do a test spot first. Also read the product instructions for use is a absolute must when using any product. Good Luck

Brenda Rupel
housekeeping - Sequim, Washington

Simple Green Cleaner

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March 4, 2009

A. Perhaps I can help. Without question - the best all-purpose cleaner I have found is Simple Green [affil. link to info/product on Amazon]. A gallon bottle will last for years and can be purchased at a discount club store for approx. $10.00. I use it to clean just about all surfaces (stainless steel, cooking grills, stove tops, etc...). It has many uses - just read the bottle. If I have a big build up of grease etc... I use a Scotch Brite pad (lightly) and that does the job. This is a concentrate - read the bottle for light, medium or heavy applications. It is also great on porch furniture (even the pads). After cleaning stainless steel - apply a polish.
By the way - I mix light, medium and heavy solutions in 32 oz. spray bottles - so I always have a ready supply. There are many other uses.

For those of you that have "hard water" like me. The way to clean mineral deposit build-up on fixtures is with distilled vinegar. Apply the vinegar with a Scotch Brite pad. I just cleaned my bathtub fixtures. I had a heavy build-up on the spigot, and now it looks new. It took me about 2 mins. to clean the spigot. I tried vinegar based on a recommendation from a friend, and because some of the commercial cleaners may cause damage.

I hope I have been of some help.

Tom Olson
- Bethel Park, Pennsylvania

March 19, 2009

Q. I have a polished stainless steel sink and there are workers in my home that have made scratches on it. The scratches go in a circular motion. I have received numerous tips on products. They all say to go in the direction of the grain. Does that mean go in the direction of the scratches? Or against the scratches?

Jean Cavallari
- Brooklyn, New York

March 24, 2009



July 22, 2009

A. I went out and bought car polish tonight after googling "black stain from Lime-away." It doesn't take the stain completely away, but enough so that it's not noticeable. I used it just on my faucet in the kitchen to get rid of the build-up from the hard water.

By the way, I looked all over the bottle and saw nothing about a problem with stainless steel. Oi.

laverne Defazio
- Santa Barbara, California

July 11, 2009

A. My wife used bleach to clean the sink but left it to soak in, when she came back to it the sink was badly stained. We tried many cleaning products to remove the stains and failed. I was fixing a scratch on my Toyota with T-Cut compound and decided to try it on the sink, it worked a treat. The sink was completely stain free with the best shine we had ever seen on it even when new. While using T-Cut I also tried some Brasso [affil. link to info/product on Amazon], this also worked well.
I hope this helps someone. T-Cut or Brasso.

Derry O'Keeffe
- Ennis, Ireland

November 13, 2009

A. The problem with all the concerns with the stain in the stainless steel sinks are this. They are a low grade stainless and will not take kindly to harsh cleaners like Lime away. The elkays and Briggs sinks are low grade bought in bulk from overseas. The good grade stainless is very expensive $400 to $800. It is the thickness covering the sink. Even a new house will have a low grade sink in it unless you pay for the upgrade.

Chuck Crivella
- Reading, Pennsylvania

December 6, 2009

A. All these cleaning ideas are fine (especially the Simple Green [affil. link to info/product on Amazon], which is a great product), but when the problem is fine nuisance scratches where they should not be, we need an abrasive that will obliterate them.

Note the original finish on these sinks was very likely put there by use of a Scotchbrite pad on an industrial polisher. Scotchbrite is THE commercial stainless polishing medium. Virtually all "brushed" stainless is finished with Scotchbrite. It is polished in one direction to give it a grain effect.

Get a fine Scotchbrite pad and polish only in the direction of the grain. Go GENTLY at first until you see it is the right grit. If you think it scratches or tears up the surface, you're using too coarse a grit, so to fix it just go to a finer grit.

Bill Kincaid
St. Louis, Missouri

January 24, 2010

A. Just had this problem of a limescale-removing bleach spilling on a stainless steel sink. I found that Autosol [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] metal polish did a good job in removing it.

Jack Doughty
- Cullompton, Devon, United Kingdom

February 12, 2010

A. Hope's [affil. link to info/product on Amazon]Stainless Steel Polish works very well. Needs elbow grease and patience but it will bring up most stainless sinks very nicely. Hard to find - I order it on the Web.
Cameo, also applied multiple times. On really, really bad stain, made from contact of Tarnish liquid silver polish wash, I had to use Brasso, again repeatedly.

Mary E. Robinson
- Lake Worth, Florida

February 25, 2010

Q. Last year we put up tile in our kitchen as a backsplash and the grout residue was cleaned off the sponges in my stainless steel sink. After this I noticed that the side that was used to clean the grout filled sponge has a film/haze on it. Can you tell me if there is a product or way for me to remove this film from my sink?

Lisa Sides
homeowner - Maryland Heights, Missouri

March 18, 2010

A. Most all grout cleaners on the market today contain corrosive acids which will damage the appearance of Stainless steel.
Scratch-B-Gone (just using our gray pad and Ultra Shine proprietary chemical will quickly and permanently remove this discoloration.

Barry Feinman
Barry Feinman
supporting advertiser
Carlsbad, California

sidebar April 5, 2010

thumbsdownYour commercial showing a parent lying in front of her child shows poor judgment.

Kay Benjamin,
Los Angeles, California

Ed. note: Thanks for the suggestion, Kay. Students visit this site, so we've been blocking all ads of a sexual nature for years, and we work hard to keep the site child-friendly. But people always push the envelope and apparently someone squeezed something in at the margins :-(
Google serves ads based on geography, bids, reader's profile, and many other factors, such that I can't see the ad in question. But we can block it if we know about it! Was the parent "telling a falsehood" or "in a prone position" (immodestly clothed maybe)? Any idea who the advertiser was or what was being advertised? Thanks.

November 22, 2011

Q. I have been finding small black spots on my new stainless steel sink. They are surrounded by a brown stain which gets bigger the longer the brown stains remain. I have scrubbed off the brown (frankly it looks like rust but is smooth) and the black spots remain. I thought I did something but last night I found more black dots with the brown rusty rings. I didn't do anything but put water in a dog bowl.

Does anyone know what causes these spots?

Eileen Mckenna
new home owner - Gardiner, New York

February 8, 2012

Q. I spilt limescale remove on my stainless steel sink and Brasso wadding got rid of the black marks. Takes a bit of elbow grease - have to keep using the wadding to polish the stainless steel (until it goes black) then wipe the surface clear and start again with a fresh piece of wadding. No sign of any black marks now and I've got a very shiny sink!!

Deb Flynn
- Sunderland, Tyne and \'Wear, UK

April 21, 2012

Q. I have a bathroom vanity with a "brass" colored metal sink and faucets. Because of the hard water, the sink how has some green spots, and hard water deposits.

Click thumbnail for high resolution photo

What can I use to first, clean the spots and second, "finish" it so this will not occur in the future? Thanks.

Cynthia Edwards
- Houston, Texas

May 2, 2012

A. Cynthia, what you have is corrosion due to reaction with the copper base metal (brass contains copper) which results in 'green' staining. BarrysRestoreItAll specializes in D-I-Y cleaning solutions for Stainless and copper based materials. Just give us a call to discuss

Barry Feinman
Barry Feinman
supporting advertiser
Carlsbad, California

June 26, 2012

Q. I just purchased a house and the ring around the drain in the stainless steel sink where is shows the brand name of the sink was blackened/ dark in color so I used Bar cleaner for stainless steel and now it's turned blueish. Any ideas as to why and what I can do? Have I ruined the stainless steel? Thanks. Cindy

Cindy Greenslade
- Long Beach, California, USA

December 6, 2012

Q. I used Lime-A-way on my tile floor grout and some got on the tile and left a sticky film. How do I get it off?

Audrey Maes
- Antelope, California

December 7, 2012

A. Hi Audrey. Lime-A-Way is designed to be a tile cleaner, not something you must avoid getting onto your tile. I think there is something else going on.


Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Meguiar's Compound

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February 20, 2013

thumbs up signI came to this site looking for a answer to my problem with Lime Away on Stainless Sink. Well, someone recommended car compound, so I bought Meguiars Compound in a bottle and could not believe it worked! I have tried so many things but this took out the stain, you can see the black on the rag, and it's so shiny! I hope this helps someone else because I thought I had to buy a new sink. No more Lime Away near the sink.

Sharon Risley
- West Palm Beach, Florida, USA

August 4, 2013

Q. I spilled powdered pool shock on my stainless steel sink
now it is badly discolored with what looks like giant bleach spots. is there any help for this sink

It is a double undermount sink with a granite countertop
replacing it would be a lot of work and money.

Lisa Nueberg
- Freehold, New Jersey, USA

February 23, 2014

thumbs up signI am so grateful for the tips on the car polish and the Nevr Dull -- it saved my brand new stainless steel sink that was damaged and turned black when I used Zap to spray some other glass item over my sink. Both worked like magic to erase and shine my sink back. It took some elbow grease but worked great. I had a previous sink stain and did not know what did it and could not clean it until this happened again with my new sink.

mona samaan
- foxboro Massachusetts usa

June 13, 2014

A. I had the same problem..."Lime Away" residue on my stainless steel sink; I used "Cape Cod metal polish" [link is to info/product on Amazon] ... worked like a dream ... no more dark stain. Does require a little elbow grease. Hope this helps someone.

Tina Strong
- Las Vegas, Nevada

June 15, 2014

Q. I used OxyClean to get rid of stains in the sink, and it has stripped off the coating. Is there any way to fix this?

Des Cooper
- Vancouver, Canada

June 2014

A. Hi Des. Stainless steel is solid all the way through, rather than coated. What kind of coating do you have or think you had on a stainless steel sink?


Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

October 30, 2014

Q. How can I get marks off of my stainless steel hob? It was cleaned by mistake with cillit bang and this has left marbling marks.

Eileen miller
- London, England, United kingdom

March 2, 2015

Q. Hi, I used Barkeepers Friend on my oven racks and left it on overnight, now my new SS sink has white blotches all over. Any suggestions to get it looking new again?

Michelle Perl
- Atlantic Beach, New York

February 2015

A. Hi Michelle. On this page you'll see recommendations for brands a, b, and c; and if you read other threads you'll see recommendations for brands x, y, and z --which will include Barkeepers Friend as the solution to the problem you describe :-)

Actually, many of these cleaners are combinations of abrasives and mild acids which, if used as scouring agents, will clean stainless steel ... but if allowed to sit in one spot for hours, the acid will discolor the same stainless steel.

Cleaning the whole sink with a scouring action, whether you use Barkeepers Friend or a different cleaner, will eventually even it out. But if that's too much work, you may need help from a buffing pad on a battery operated drill, or a stronger abrasive like the Scratch-B-Gone. Good luck.


Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

April 2, 2015

A. This is the perfect solution. I have found the perfect product that does not harm hard surfaces/fixtures (non porous) and just melts away hard water deposits: it's called "descale it". You just spray it on or wipe it on and let it set as long as needed to dissolve it. It's non abrasive. I have removed the aerators on my bath faucets that were crusted with hard water deposits and let them soak in a bowl with "descale it" for a while periodically working the deposit off and looks brand new now without harming the finish. I originally discovered this product in a pool supply store as a cleaner for fiberglass spas which is very scratchable service with most other cleaners. It's available in hardware stores in the cleaners section (just ask the attendant). You can't go wrong with this product. Just polish to a shine when you're done. I periodically treat all areas where I have water contact as part of my maintenance. I also use in my rentals to bring them back to new condition.

Dee Demarest
- Peoria Arizona

June 8, 2015

A. Bar Keepers will clean stainless. All the over the counter cleaners are useless and leave residue. So you may need to do this twice. With a damp cloth just touch the top of can and tip upside down. Wipe down stainless and rinse off with water. Yes water it is the same as your sink. Black will come off try a second time until all the black is gone. ALWAYS WITH THE GRAIN! Then polish with soft clean cotton towel. If you mess up try again. Get all the Bar Keepers off. . if you have a really dirty surface get it good. After once a month or little touch ups should do. On my sink I use more always with the grain. If you use your sink a lot it will eventually have a wonderful patina like your rings. If you put racks and rubber etc on it you will never see this only the few scratches. NEVER USE ABRASIVES ON ANYTHING. THROW THEM OUT. YESTERDAY.
CLR for lime deposits is good try a qtip. Don't squirt or pour it on. They took the acid out. But sadly, if you have hard water you need to wipe off that granite. Try CLR first on one of your granite scraps or under the lip.
If all else fails call the installer and ask to be resealed; they will not come for the small job. BUT MY ADVICE IS USE YOUR KITCHEN LIKE YOUR MOM DID ... HARD ... BECAUSE THIS LIFE IS NOT A DRESS REHEARSAL.

carole S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- los gatos California usa

July 2015

thumbs up signThanks Carole. I've heard your closing phrase many times before -- but we can never hear it enough because it quickly fades out, whereas it should constantly be at the top of our consciousness.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


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December 16, 2015

A. In response to the black stainless steel as a result of lime remover. I THINK I HAVE THE ANSWER!!! Long story short, I thought I wrecked a $150,000 commercial dishwasher. I rushed to the local Ace Hardware and brought back several metal cleaners and polishes. The one that worked...FLITZ Polish and Tarnish Remover. Small grey tube. What a miracle worker!

Rob Prestwood
- Sparta, Wisconsin

January 15, 2016

A. Yes, I used an alkaline drain cleaner and it destroyed our stainless steel sink. AND it did not unclog the drain. We used 3 chemical bottle to try and nothing.
We plunged. We got the snake and not even a drop was going through.
We only were in this home for a couple of months.
1st. Chemical drain openers don't work on grease, especially deep down.
2nd. If it's not in the trap call a plumber, they saved us flooding our home and well worth the money!
3rd. Now we are using enzymes that eat the little grease that will get down there and no more nasty chemicals that almost did us in!

Rubbing Compound

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Okay now the drain is cleared but the sink is an ugly grey, black and dull. I tried Fantastik, Vim, Baking Soda, Easy Off Oven cleaner. NOTHING worked. then I read this website in desperation.
COMPOUNDING CAR POLISH WORKED A MIRACLE! My sink is shiny again, not dull grey but shiny! The brand I found in the garage was Turtle and it's easy to use. It's the rubbing compound kind.
Hope this helps someone else like it's helped us!
Thanks everyone!

Sammi Wiebe
- Vancouver, BC, Canada

July 15, 2016

A. Toothpaste also worked on my black stained sink :)

nooshin akbarzadeh
- tehran iran

February 12, 2017

A. I had some Flitz and thought: if it cleaned silver, it might help my sink that I had etched with Lime-A-Way. Worked like magic.

Janice Carlson
Mrs. - Holcomb, Illinois

April 24, 2017

A. So I'll just add my experience to this thread, which is a little different than most I've read here. My toilet has bad lime under the rim that looks dirty. I have tried everything, but this time I used stainless steel pad on porcelain while there was Lime-A-Way in the bowl, and it discolored the porcelain. Some kind of stainless steel plating. Don't do this! ;)

Deni Boardman
- San Bernardino, California, USA

Cape Cod Polishing Cloths

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August 31, 2017

A. Hey guys.

I had the dull stains on my stainless steel sink and after seeing a few posts here, thought that I would try something I have at home. I have Cape Cod cleaning/polishing cloths.

I bought it specifically to polish the steel parts of my watch but can confirm that it worked on my sink, with a bit of effort!

Rob Levy
- Valencia, Spain

March 5, 2018

Q. Hi, I wrongly used my toilet cleaner in my stainless steel sink now there are patches in the sink which is dark black color and I don't know what to do. Tell me how to get rid of these?

Eraiarul Vajravel
- Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

March 18, 2018

A. Lime out stained stainless steel sink. I used harleydavidson metal polish; came out looking like new. It's not just for bikes.

Flora Rose-Phillippi
- new york, USA

April 20, 2018

Q. My stainless steel kitchen sinks are over 30 years old and are now causing a grayish tint to white towels when I dry them. What's happening? How can I make this stop? I tried baking soda and vinegar to clean them and it didn't help.

Sandy Martinez
- Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA

August 2, 2018

thumbs up sign Thank you for answering my question. Our Stainless steel sink in our 2 year old motor home seemed to have some build up of lime or calcium as well as did the porcelain sink and toilet. I had used Lime-A-Way at home and so bought some and it worked well on the bathroom sink and toilet. So I headed to the kitchen and after cleaning with a bleach spray and rinsing (I know now, no bleach), I used the Lime-A-Way. I know now that I used too much and left it longer than needed and the stainless dulled and smells like steel. So, then I read the bottle (Hindsight is 100%), and small white print says "Toilet cleaner! " I think it is a different formulation than the old Lime-A-Way.
So I am off to buy my Bar Keepers and polish and getting rid of all the caustic cleansers in my motor home!
Wish me luck!

Rosalie Jensen
- East Wenatchee, Washington, USA

sidebar August 2018

! Hi Rosalie. Thanks for reminding us that something which happens frequently is a manufacturer achieves name recognition for one of their product lines, so they slap that name across their whole product line :-)

As an amateur mechanic, for 60 years the word "vicegrips" has been used generically to describe a tool that looks halfway between an adjustable wrench and pliers, and that locks in place.


And "channel locks" has always meant a tool sort of like pliers but with a long slide for the pivot point.


But I recently bought channel lock style pliers with the Vicegrip logo prominent :-)

I've read that confusion between traditional generic tool names vs. trade names has caused problems for fire departments finding themselves on site with the wrong equipment on hand ... so your complaint has support :-(


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

August 7, 2018

A. Cleaning a stainless steel sink:
Mix 1 cup of distilled white vinegar with 1/4 cup cream of tartar. Be sure to mix this in a glass or plastic container (no metal). Use the mixture as a scrub for your stainless steel sink and rinse with warm water. Your sink will shine! I also use this mixture on my pressure canner, stainless steel bowls and stainless flatware. It even removes the dark tomato stains from my stainless steel canner.

Jan Bose
- Grand Island Nebraska

June 20, 2020

I applied Lime-A-Way in my stainless steel sink to remove the grime buildup just under the granite countertop. I let it sit for 15 mins, washed it off and discovered it stained the sink where it had dripped. Horrified, I found this thread and felt better that I wasn't the only one who had done this... as dumb as it was!


I tried what I had on hand first, Comet, stainless steel cleaner, vinegar, bleach, NOTHING worked. So I decided to take a trip to Ace to get Brasso after a friend suggested it. NOPE, DIDN'T WORK. Went back to Ace to pick up NEVR-DULL (someone on this site suggested it) and the lady at Ace showed me a different product Bio-Clean Products Hard Water Stain Remover and said it was guaranteed to work so if it didn't I could return it and get my money back! My husband & I both started scrubbing, I used NEVR DULL and he used the Bio-Clean.

Bio-Clean Water Stain Remover

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(your purchases make finishing.com possible)

Never Dull Polish

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(your purchases make finishing.com possible)

30186-2d   30186-2c

After lots of elbow grease and using BOTH products I am proud to say it worked! My sink is prettier now than it was before I destroyed it.


Betsy Power
- Sarasota, Florida USA

June 25, 2020

A. A hardwater cleaner (with sulfamic acid) left horrible black marks on my stainless steel sink. I used a liquid scouring product with oxalic acid (suggested after a google search to this site and watching a You Tube video) and then a ceramic cook-top cleaner and stainless steel spray cleaner (of the same brand) to alleviate the mess. I scrubbed 2 or 3 times with the scouring agent with a small brush, as well as a"scrubbie sponge". It helped quite a bit. The ceramic stove top cleaner seems to have worked to remove hard-water deposits as well as staining. I applied and used paper towels rubbing briskly in the direction of the "grain". I could see the black marks being removed on the paper towel. The stainless steel cleaner removed more of the spots and left a nice shine. I used a terrycloth shop towel with lots of pressure for this part of the process. I may need one more round of each but it is so much better.
Hint: read all directions AND consult the product website when using cleaning products.

L Garcia
- Tucson, Arizona

July 5, 2020

A. I was happy to find I wasn't the only one who had "ruined" my stainless appliance with lime remover. Also thankful to everyone who posted possible solutions. I was cleaning the drip tray of the fridge's water in the door area & it dripped down on the stainless. When I wiped it off, it only made the stained area bigger! I decided to try what I had on hand at home first. Brasso did not work. Before trying car polish I pulled out a very old jar of a Shaklee product which I hadn't used in years but should probably use instead of the white paste for stove tops! It was once called "At Ease"---a dark pink, cherry scented paste. And it worked! It's now called "Scour Off." One little jar will nearly last you a lifetime!

K LaGambina
- Orlando, Florida

sidebar October 15, 2020

Q. Can I use this product to clean rust scale off of the inside of a 3000 gallon cistern tank?

Lance Halingstad
- Chinook Montana

November 2020

A. Hi Lance. Assuming your cistern is steel, I don't know why Lime-A-Way [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] or CLR [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] would be inappropriate. But depending on the use of the water (drinking water?) you should rinse it off/out well. Good luck.

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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